Here’s how to improve a CV in four steps:
- Use the right CV format for your situation
- Check you’re highlighting the right skills and experience
- Write in scannable yet engaging language
- Ensure you’re giving specific examples
1. Use the right CV format for your situation
Depending on your experience level and current situation, you might want to change your CV format.
For example, if you’re applying for a job with no work experience or are switching industries, then it might not be a good idea to use a chronological CV (which focuses on your work experience).
Instead, use a skills-based CV to highlight your knowledge, education, and transferable skills.
2. Check you’re highlighting the right skills and experience
You might not be emphasising skills employers want to see.
Market yourself more effectively to specific employers by reading the job description to identify the skills that they need. Emphasise any skills you have that are listed or relevant to the job as the employer has described it.
3. Write in scannable yet engaging language
Are you writing in the passive voice or using unnecessary industry jargon? If so, you might be undermining your accomplishments.
Rewrite wordy or complicated sentences using the active voice and compelling CV words to make your CV easier to read and emphasise your enthusiasm for the job.
4. Ensure you’re giving specific examples
Check the bullet points in your work experience section — are you giving enough context when talking about your skills and achievements? Demonstrate the breadth of your knowledge by telling the employer how you used specific skills and what the results of your actions were.
So if you’re writing a work experience entry, don’t just say:
Showed strong customer service skills as a cashier
Tell the employer how you used your skills on the job:
Gave excellent customer service, providing customers with recommendations and helping them find items when needed